As a member of the Etsy Community I have long admired the gorgeous hair adornments of Lily Williams from Inside Out Inspired. Even as a busy grad student, Lily has always found the time to create and, well….collect. Here is her charming, yet not for the weak stomached, account of her first creative endeavors. For more on Lily Williams please check out her website and fan her lovely accessories company on facebook
Thanks for the story Lily!
I’d like to introduce myself with a bit about my favorite creative endeavor: COLLECTING, which is where it all began. At the age of three, I began my first serious collection – boogers. My grandmother called it “digging for gold,” and that is exactly the way that I saw it. I kept these treasures on my bedpost, arranged by size and shape. Unfortunately, not everyone saw this collection as worthwhile, as with other collections of interest.
Case in point: when I was four, I had a collection of hair and fur. I set up a mock salon in my closet, not for playing make believe, but to facilitate the strategic acquisition of more fur and hair. I began with my stuffed animals and dolls, then moved on to the cats, and finished off with my own short brown curls, and my best friend’s (very) long, blond hair.
While most of my collections were stored in jars organized by texture and color, I placed my own hair in the same container as my friend’s hair because I liked the contrast. I should note, however, that this was a cruelty-free engagement. No one was hurt in the process. I also want to note that, while my mother reprimanded me, and my friend’s mother would not let her spend time with me unsupervised, I have reason to believe that my efforts were of benefit to greater humanity.
First off, I am pretty sure that I inspired her creatively – she later became an artist. Secondly, I taught her not to be attached to material objects (such as hair), and as a direct result, she donates her hair to bald children every few years! Around the age of six, I began experimenting with more abstract and conceptual collections, equally undervalued, such as “the number of times I can count to 100.” I stayed up hours past my bedtime, counting to 100 and marking it on a Popsicle stick construction I kept by my bedside. When I abandoned this “collection,” the Popsicle stick structure was turned into an art piece in and of itself!
At 8, I started colleting dead birds. I kept them in a wagon in the back of my house and would take them for walks to the corner store where I would troll for matchboxes to store my collection of little bird souls. Speaking of trolling, and equally disagreeable, if not more was my collection of trolls. The most vulgar of the lot was my surfer troll with matted neon rainbow colored hair, and a shrill voice, which repeated the phrases “cowa-bunga dude!” and “tubular!” to everything you talked about when you squeezed his jeweled belly button. When I found a stash of teeth in my mother’s drawer, I started collecting these, too – human teeth, as well as teeth from animals (such as the teeny teeth of dead birds, the baby teeth of kittens and puppies, as well as things associated with teeth such as dentist appointment reminder cards and fairies).
While the former highlight collections ranging from offensive to downright pathological, I also maintained a healthy number of “normal” (or at least harmless) collections: torn pieces of multicolored eraser bits (at one point I had two full sandwich baggies full of erasers), drawings of fairies, used clarinet reeds, stones/pebbles/things that look like stones or pebbles such as avocado pits and (very) old kielbasa, and “opinions,” such as “number of people who think I should pierce my nose.” At the age of 10, my mother, (who is herself a silk painter and crafter-extraordinaire, and taught me much of what I know) built shelves all the way around my bedroom walls to accommodate my growing collections. I even collected collections (in the form of a list).
Clearly, I was at the forefront of the recycling and reusing effort! As I approached adulthood, I abandoned the dried apple cores, trolls, and human hair, in favor of more socially acceptable and practical things like (sanitized, cruelty-free) feathers, beads, fabrics, brooches, ribbons, pens, markers, and silk flowers from family pass-me-downs, markets, friends, travels, and vintage stores. Rather than hoard them in jars on high shelves in my room, I use these bits and pieces to make beautiful items for gifting and wearing.
I am starting my shop with my line of feathered, jeweled and flowered hair clips and barrettes, but will eventually include my line of cards and jewelry. (While my pieces do not typically include talking trolls or eraser bits, you can feel free to make special requests and I will try to accommodate).
Thanks for checking me out! Please feel free to contact me for any reason…I would love to connect! And a special thank you to everyone who has supported me while I get set up ?